Europe Should Stand Up to US Bullying Once and For All: American Analyst
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An American political analyst said European nations have to “summon up the resolve” to stand up to US bullying decisively.
“The Europeans have to summon up the resolve to stand up to US threats and bullying once and for all. A united front of all the parties concerned against US intransigence is required. It’s not enough to pledge to uphold the nuclear deal, the Europeans have to take concrete actions to ensure that Iran is not subject to punitive measures initiated by the USو” Dennis Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, told the Tasnim News Agency.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Tasnim: As you know, US President Donald Trump on May 8 withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, which is an international agreement and endorsed by a UN Security Council resolution. What is your take on Trump’s decision?
Etler: Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA is in keeping with his stated position before and during his presidential campaign. The question was, would he follow through on his pledge to scuttle the deal once elected. It took over one year, but he finally did as he said he would. The unilateral US withdrawal contravenes established international norms and violates UN Security Council resolutions, but the Trump regime has no regard for either.
Trump’s rationale for the withdrawal from the accord has nothing to do with any Iranian failure to abide by its provisions. All concerned parties acknowledge that Iran has lived up to obligations. Trump and his backers in Israel and Saudi Arabia, however, want to impose a new set of restrictions on Iran’s sovereign right to a credible self-defense and freedom of action in foreign affairs, restrictions which they themselves refuse to accept.
Thus, Trump’s punitive actions against Iran have nothing to do with Iran’s adherence to the JCPOA and everything to do with US, Israeli and Saudi attempts to geo-politically contain Iran, destabilize its economy and create domestic discord in order to foment regime change and install a regime friendly to US interests in the Middle East. This is part and parcel of US imperialism's contention with the rising eastern powers of China and Russia.
Tasnim: UK, France, Germany, Russia and China have expressed their support for the deal, saying that they would stand by it despite the US pullout. Do you think the agreement will stand without the US? Will Europeans, Russia and China continue to honor their commitments under the deal?
Etler: Although there is no legitimate reason for the US to withdraw from the JCPOA and reimpose economic sanctions against Iran, the US has declared that it will do so. The other parties to the agreement, including the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China have no reason to follow suit and have said they will live up to their obligations. The issue is the secondary sanctions that the US threatens to place on foreign companies that continue to engage in activities proscribed by the sanctions it plans to reimpose. The US hopes its threats will be enough to dissuade foreign companies from doing business with Iran. Will the nations adhere to the JCPOA, work to oppose US secondary sanctions and circumvent them? Russia and China have the will and means to do so. The question is, will the European powers acquiesce to secondary US sanctions?
Tasnim: As you know, Europeans are trying hard to salvage the deal. What would happen if all their efforts fail? How do you think should Iran react to this?
Etler: The Europeans have to summon up the resolve to stand up to US threats and bullying once and for all. A united front of all the parties concerned against US intransigence is required. It’s not enough to pledge to uphold the nuclear deal, the Europeans have to take concrete actions to ensure that Iran is not subject to punitive measures initiated by the US. If the US threatens to impose secondary sanctions against European companies doing business with Iran, the Europeans in concert with Russia and China must impose sanctions against the US in retaliation. This is absolutely necessary to maintain the integrity of internationally approved and recognized multilateral agreements. If that is not done, the Iranians have no choice but to abrogate the agreement and take whatever actions they deem necessary to secure their sovereign rights to defense and deterrence from foreign aggression. The US must be criticized and condemned for acting outside established international norms.